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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 25, 2004

25 June 2004
Tatar Air-Traffic Controllers Not Planning Any Mergers With Colleagues In Neighboring Regions
Yurii Kuzmin, the director of the air-trafficking company Tataeronavigatsiya, told the daily "Vechernaya Kazan" of 25 June that despite recent reports in the Russian press saying that Tatarstan's and Bashkortostan's air-trafficking services will be subjugated to the Samara air navigation board, his organization had no plans of uniting its network with that of Samara. He claimed that the air-traffic-control system Tatarstan recently installed is better than the one used in Samara and has the capability of controlling Tatar airspace as well as that of neighboring Chavash and Marii El republics. Kuzmin noted that under Russia's current air-traffic-control reform, all of the country's air-traffic controllers will be united under a federal body.

Tatar Youth Forum Kicks Off In Kazan
A Tatar youth forum uniting more than 500 delegates from Russia, other CIS countries, and further abroad was scheduled to begin in Kazan on 24 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. The annual forum was expected to pursue its traditional goals of consolidating Tatar youth and discussing ways of promoting the Tatar language and culture. The forum was to focus on ethnic education, culture and spiritual heritage, religion, information and communication technologies, and business partnerships.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Muslim Body Condemns U.S. Middle East Policies
Following the recent summit of G-7 countries and Russia, the presidium of the Ufa-based Central Muslim Religious Board issued a public statement saying that the board "is concerned [about] the penetration of an American understanding of democracy into the Islamic world and attempts to build a uni-polar world while neglecting the opinions of the international community and the norms of international law." The board, led by Telget Tajutdin, criticized the U.S. doctrine of a "Greater Middle East" and attempting to "modify the Muslim countries using American principles of understanding the world, democracy, and God -- which in no way matched the desires of people in Arab countries." The statement noted that "even if the Arab and Islamic world need to democratize their political systems, it is still an internal affair of the Arabic and Islamic world and its peoples."

National Hero To Market The Republic
Bashkortostan's state committee on youth affairs on 24 June revealed that images of Bashkir national hero Salavat Yulaev will be used for promoting the republic and for souvenirs, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported today. Yulaev, an 18th century peasant leader, was caught by tsarist authorities in November 1774 and exiled. He died in 1800 after 25 years of penal servitude. This year Bashkortostan marked the 250th anniversary of his birth.

Rakhimov Receives Award From Federal Customs Service
Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov received an award "for strengthening customs cooperation" from the head of the Volga District customs directorate, Yurii Rybkin, on 24 June, Bashinform reported the same day.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi